By Bill Kirk
---- — Former Finance Committee member Greg Rigby of Rattlesnake Road died Monday night at his office in Brickstone Square in Andover.
Rigby, co-founder of TownOfAndover.com, a watchdog website that monitored town taxing and spending habits, was 61.
His wife, Janet, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Rigby ran Rigby Wealth Management at 300 Brickstone Square. At 6:24 p.m. police were called about an unresponsive male sitting in his office chair, after Rigby was found by a member of the office park’s cleaning staff.
Police arrived and contacted the State Police Crime Prevention and Control unit and the county medical examiner, which is customary for unattended deaths. Andover police Commander Charles Heseltine said there was nothing suspicious about Rigby’s death and it appeared he died of natural causes.
The news hit Town Hall hard.
Members of the Board of Selectmen were just breaking up their meeting Monday night around 9 when they heard the news of Rigby’s death.
Selectmen Chairman Alex Vispoli said he and several other town officials sat in a conference room talking with each other after hearing the news.
“We were dumbfounded,” he said. “We just stayed in the room for about an hour after our meeting was over. It’s shocking. It’s very sad. Very sad. Greg was a friend of mine.”
Vispoli credited Rigby with making town government more transparent by ferreting out information and putting it all on his website for public consumption. In fact, the site was updated this week with new links and information about retiree health insurance costs and skyrocketing property taxes.
“He was passionate about what he was doing,” Vispoli said. “And he had the right motivation. He wanted to contribute.”
Rigby ran for School Committee in 2008, but lost to Dennis Forgue, currently the chairman.
In February 2011, he was appointed to fill a seat on the Finance Committee after another member resigned and he served on the committee until June 2012. He was not reappointed to the position, which some people said may have been due to his outspoken nature and critical questioning of town spending.
The website, TownOfAndover.com, became his way of contributing to the community, Vispoli said.
“When he was off the Finance Committee, he was looking for a way to get that message out,” he said. “I applaud that effort of transparency. ... He’ll be missed.”
Finance Committee member Joanne Marden was equally shocked to learn of Rigby’s death after returning home from Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting.
“It’s very sad. He was interested in finding out what was going on in town,” she said.
Rigby’s TownOfAndover.com co-founders, Bob Pokress and Bob Landry, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.